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Black and White vs. Color

Web 2.0 era has brought us the huge variety of web colors and design techniques. We see red, green and blue designs daily. Our eye is used to seeing the web bright and colored. But does it mean that using less color is the way to stand out in today’s Realia. Is it true that sometimes less is more? Or is color still the best way to deliver your message?

Let’s discuss!

Too Much Color Can Be a Bore

In the world of visual arts, a full-color palate can be very attractive, very seductive, for the artist. It’s a real temptation to create with every color possible, and it certainly can be fun! But the truth is, using all the colors of the rainbow for every project can actually be boring.

Color, in artwork or media production, is meant to grab attention, to direct a person, to impress something upon the mind in an immediate way. If color is everywhere without rhyme or reason, then it can become nonsensical and even worse, distract people from the very message the artist is trying to convey. This is definitely an instant where less is more.

Too Much Color Can  Be a Bore

Black and White Can Also Be Boring

Black and white, especially in photography, websites, or multi-media, if not used correctly, can also be a major bore. Black and white must have contrast. This seems obvious at first. In the mind’s eye, you may see that there is a natural contrast between black and white; black and white exudes contrast. Still, without the correct lighting, black and white can turn into tones of dull gray.

Black and White Can  Also Be Boring

Color in Films

Have you ever seen one of the great black and white films that was so well lit the whole movie became a work of art? Compare this to films that were essentially black-and-white with one color added to enhance an unusual or compelling message. If done correctly, this can be an extremely effective use of color. Then there are films that use a color to wash certain scenes. This color wash lets the audience know exactly where they are in any given scene.

color black and white

Visual Arts

Visual arts encompasses so much that there are a million ways to use both color and black and white. A well-done charcoal is hard to beat for effect and beauty; this is black and white at its best. Pastels or watercolors are usually delicate in nature with a soft and lovely use of color. And then there is the vibrancy of oils on canvas that can grab attention like nothing else. To see a Van Gogh, up close and personal, is to experience color and passion as one has never experienced it before.

Visual Arts

So What’s the Answer?

  • First look at the message your poster, website, or film is projecting and decide what color scheme is going to enhance that message.
  • Get acquainted with color, not only its visual power but also the symbolism behind each different hue.
  • Experiment with black and white. In this great day of computer technology, it’s easy to look at ideas in black and white, as well as a great range of color schemes.

Experiment

Don’t be afraid to experiment with color. Try a solely black-and-white project. Then try one where you mix black and white with an interesting color, here and there. And remember, for your own personal projects you are the ultimate decider; the ultimate artist. Take the risk. Trust yourself. Do it! As you gain more experience, you’ll have an easier time deciding whether to use color, black and white, or a combination.

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